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Population and Sustainability

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  1. Population and Sustainability Franzi Poldy CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems School of Resources, Environment and Society ANU 20 March 2007

  2. Population and Sustainability • complex link between population and sustainability • how we deal with that complexity • system boundaries

  3. Sustainability • not systematically relying on things that can’t go on indefinitely • consumption of non-renewable resources • waste disposal to finite sinks • economic growth (physical aspects?)

  4. The Complex Link to Population • I = P  A  T or • I = P  L  O  T • Impact • Population • Affluence • Lifestyle • Organisation • Technology

  5. history 1941 – 2001 ‘complete & consistent’ scenarios 2001 – 2101 800 variables ~ 100,000 time series disaggregation population (one variable) 2 sexes 8 states 21 ages 336 time series 12 building types 22 vehicle types 39 secondary materials 10 crops 19 minerals 56 manufactured goods too many fish types 9 fuels 15 electricity generation technologies all stocks vintaged Australian Stocks and Flows

  6. Tracking Stocks and Flows • people need • food, housing, transport, etc. • food implies • land, crops, animals, tractors, etc. • houses are made of • bricks, timber, steel, glass, etc. • transport requires • road, terminals, vehicles, fuel, etc. • etc, etc • etc, etc, etc ! ! !

  7. Three Population Scenarios annual net migration • zero • 70,000 • 0.67% 2050 population • 20m • 25m • 32m

  8. Age Distributions

  9. Dependency

  10. Buildings and Dwellings

  11. Dwelling Age Distribution

  12. Evolution of the Car Fleet

  13. Alternative Fuel Consumption Rates for New Cars Whole Fleet Car Energy Use Car Energy Use

  14. Oil and GasProduction, Needs, Trade

  15. Energy Efficient Scenarios – Assumptions ‘Factor 4’ Scenario 50% by 2020 for: • building mass • building operating materials and energy • mass of consumer goods / white goods • vehicle mass and energy ‘High Tech’ Scenario • building energy – 50% by 2020 • car energy – 3 litre/100km by 2020 • other vehicles energy – 50% by 2020

  16. Energy Efficient Scenarios – Results

  17. Globalisation

  18. System Boundaries - I • sustainability is a property of wholes • there are no sustainable parts of unsustainable wholes • this applies • geographically • conceptually

  19. System Boundaries - II • what does this mean for local action? • sustainable this . . . that . . . and the other • very problematic • it may be politically important to do something • be sure it doesn’t make things worse • is the local action part of a long term, whole system strategy that works? • how do you know?

  20. System Boundaries - III • do we want • more fuel efficient cars? • more energy efficiency all round? • energy efficiency – necessary, but not sufficient • energy efficiency alone makes things worse • metholodologies for studying these issues? • economics • physical accounting • anthropology?

  21. thank you

  22. energy is different energy costs set prices energy profit ratios fossil fuel ‘subsidy’ global oil peak energy and technology large CO2 emission reductions needed infrastructure lifetimes efficiency encourages use carbon trading does not reduce CO2 emissions hydrogen is an energy sink Some Issues for Energy Policy

  23. Sustainability • sustainability is • a property of the whole system • about the long term • physical • Australian Stocks and Flows Framework • whole economy • last 60 years; next 100 years • material and energy flows • in physical terms

  24. The ‘Physical’ Economy • only one economy • peoples’ choices  valuation $$$ • sustainability SI units • data problems (chicken and egg) • no systematic physical data • hard to do whole system physical analyses • no ‘theory’ to guide data collection • cf. economic data • large body of economic theory • System of National Accounts • systematic data collected • core business for ABS

  25. Scenarios and Strategy • almost all policy is ‘tactical’ • incremental improvements • based on current behaviour / choice • short term (< 20 years) • the ‘stock-in-trade’ of mainstream economics • we also need ‘strategy’ • deciding where to go • understanding possibilities and limits • taking account of the long term (50+ years) • scenario analysis

  26. Primary Energy Use and GDP – Australia 1900-2000

  27. whatIf? user decision maker analyst control variables population tension report lifestyle Australian Stocks and Flows Framework technology investment emissions target food required labour required water required labour available food produced emissions achieved water available The whatIf? approach include prices ? feedback

  28. whatIf? trainee pilot flight controls up / down instruments left / right Flight Simulator N / S / E / W fast / slow flight plan safety flight plan safety navigation altitude / weather on schedule other aircraft The whatIf? approach to flying autopilot on ? feedback

  29. ASFF Information Flow(Simplified) population consumables buildings transport construction agriculture forestry fishing mining manufacturing recycling materials & energy trade manufacturing recycling materials & energy trade downward arrows - physical accounting – no upward arrows - choice not modelled

  30. ASFF Information Flow downward arrows - physical accounting – no upward arrows - choice not modelled

  31. economic activity labour participation population productivity labour required labour available Thinking about Tensions labour required > labour available not possible (not a labour shortage) labour required < labour available unemployment

  32. Built 1946-51 Dwelling Age Distribution

  33. Oil and Gas Production

  34. Oil to Gas Transition

  35. Primary Energy

  36. Energy Users